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Patterns of Crime Victimization in Latin America

  • Alejandro Gaviria
  • Carmen Pagés-Serra

    ()

In this paper we draw a profile of the victims of crime in Latin America. We show that- at least for the case of property crime - the typical victims of crime in Latin America come from rich and middle class households and tend to live in larger cities. We also show that households living in cities experiencing rapid population growth are more likely to be victimized than households living in cities with stable populations. We offer various explanations to these facts, and while we cannot yet provide definite answers to some of the questions raised by this paper, we are at least able to reject some plausible hypotheses. On the whole, our results imply that urban crime in Latin America is, to an important extent, a reflection of the inability of many cities in the region to keep up with the increasing demands for public safety brought about by a hasty and disorderly urbanization process.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4186.

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Date of creation: Oct 1999
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4186
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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," NBER Working Papers 5430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gaviria, Alejandro, 2000. "Increasing returns and the evolution of violent crime: the case of Colombia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 1-25, February.
  3. Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt, 1999. "Crime, Urban Flight, And The Consequences For Cities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 159-169, May.
  4. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
  5. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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